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Graham Peebles – Market Driven Homelessness in London

As a world community we have agreed that everyone has a right to a home, (article 25 of the UNDHR makes this clear), however, like many such ‘rights’ – food, adequate health care, good education for example, the ‘right’ to a home is dependent upon your ability to pay for that right.

Having spent almost two years sleeping on sofas, sharing beds and moving from one friends’ home to another, on Tuesday November 10th, Vera, an asylum seeker to the UK, and her three teenage children were made street homeless.

After waiting all day in Lambeth Council, South East London – where they were met with cold indifference by an insensitive social worker, at 9pm they were offered a room in a hostel – ‘for one night only’. This tortuous process of uncertainty was repeated for a week, when they were finally offered temporary accommodation, ‘while their circumstances are being assessed’. Temporary accommodation in Vera’s case consists of one room, a communal kitchen and bathroom in a tatty bed and breakfast over an hour away from the children’s school.

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